The City of Splendors

Nathaniel Hedington, Blogger

.. and then I told him ‘I don’t care if you’re a masked lord or the avatar of the Lightbringer, that’s not going in m-’ Oh hey! Rolled up a character, did you? Not bad stats, not sure I’d have gone with that class and race, but that’s cool!

So now that you’re ready for adventure, where are you going first? Not sure? Well then let me introduce you to the best place to start your adventure in all the Forgotten Realms: Waterdeep, City of Splendors!

A thriving metropolis of 132,661 various peoples, Waterdeep sits upon a deep water harbor (one can only imagine how the city got its name) on the Sword Coast, on the Western side of Faerun. The nexus of a dizzying number of trade routes across land and sea, Waterdeep is your go-to stop for any sort of magical or mundane equipment. Adventure can be found on the high seas, in dark woods not far away, or even right under the city center, where one of the largest dungeons in the world lies, known as ‘Undermountain’! I happen to know a larger dungeon, but we can talk about that later. Passages deep underground take you into the great realms known as the Underdark, where foul things dwell. There’s even a whole city under Waterdeep known as Skullport, a true hive of scum and villainy, let me tell you!

The city is ruled by the “Open Lord” who everyone knows, and a council of anonymous “Masked Lords”. You get a bunch of powerful figures too who aren’t always officially part of the government. The Archmage Khelban “Blackstaff” Arunsun, and his lady Laerel Silverhand Arunsun spring to mind. I remember a few adventurers who used to work for old Blackstaff, they had quite the nickname for him…


Where was I? Oh yes! Adventures!  Waterdeep serves as a nexus for all sorts of wandering adventurers, with mundane and magical forms of travel being common. There’s even a spot that the Watchful Order of Magists and Protectors have set up near the South gate for people to teleport to. There are plenty of magical portals too, though most admittedly enter into the dungeons of Undermountain instead of the city proper, though that might be part of the fun! Whether you like plunging into dungeons, stalking through forests, or swashbuckling above or below the waves, Waterdeep has everything an adventurer could hope for nearby, and can serve as an excellent home base to return to after a long stint of questing. Whether you’re a first-timer hunting giant rats, or an epic legend speaking on par with Blackstaff, Waterdeep can serve as a wonderful place to plan your next outing! 


With all these powerful folks around, don’t think the law isn’t prepared to deal with troublemakers who get out of hand. An elite griffon cavalry patrols from the skies, and they don’t get too picky when fireballs start flying around. If people make a big enough mess, the Gray Hands step in, a score of veteran adventurers who can end almost any fight, even if there is a significant amount of collateral damage. I’ve seen them do some incredible things, like one of them even wrestled a greater demon that was rampaging through the market! Let me tell you, if your group gets good enough, you might even be able to join them, there are definitely worse patrons to adventure for.

Oh, you’re not certain why you’d want a patron? Why, that’s one of the most important people you’ll be dealing with. Yes, more important than the bartender! Here you know what, let’s go meet up in the Yawning Portal Tavern, and I’ll tell you all about patrons, and no, not the warlock kind!